With a very heavy heart, we mark the passing of our
Uncle Bob passed away early Saturday morning at 12:15AM on February 27th at age 79. He died of complications from a debilitating stroke which occurred in early December of 2009. Uncle Bob loved his family and was so loyal. Family meant everything to him. His children Robbie, Jeff, Debbie and Matt, all tended to him during his health decline and honored him with their love. He loved them dearly as well.
Uncle Bob, son of the immortal Red Rabbit himself, has 4 brothers and one sister. His 2 older brothers, twins Russell & Richard, preceded him in death. Surviving brothers Ron, Roy, and sister Peggy- along with their familes - are all so saddened by the news of his passing.
As his proud nephew, I can tell you that he was by far the funniest & wildest of all my uncles. He could tell a story that could leave you in tears laughing so hard. I remember when Kathy and I went on one of our first dates down to see a play in Chicago, I was wondering how we could continue the great night since the play we attended had ended early. And then it hit me - I'll take her over to my Uncle Bob's and introduce Kathy to him and my Aunt Marcia.
We found them in a bar on Howard St and he was so glad to see me and meet Kathy that he insisted we come back to his home after a few beers to listen to his music box - while having a couple more beers. Kathy never forgot that night!
There are a number of pictures of Uncle Bob on this page - and they are all my favourites. Upper left is a picture of most of Bob's family - though Robbie was missing - that capture the young Johnson family at a picnic at my parents house in the late 60's. To the right is Bob and brother Ron, "The Ridge Avenue Boys", celebrating a Polyanna victory over my Dad and myself in the early 70's.
But by far my favourite picture is one that hangs in my office at work that is shown directly below. It is a picture of the brothers marking Bob's High School Graduation in 1948. It features my Dad, Richard on the extreme left, with young Ronnie next to Dad. Next to Ronnie is a beaming Russell, my Godfather, and on the extreme right is Bob in a White Tuxedo sporting a handgun in the coat pocket.
The 4 Princes of Chicago!
No one worked harder at having fun in their life, but it can also be said that few people worked harder than Uncle Bob to provide for his family. For most of his adult life he would awaken at 4AM and go throw newspapers around Evanston and Wilmette - 7 days a week. Following his paper throwing, during the work week he would come home and then go to his full time job at Marshall Fields where he delivered furniture. And he did that for decades.
Jeff Presents Rob With A Present
Aiden & Robbie Arm Wrestle